Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.
Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition
- The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.
- Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.
- Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.
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About the Author
Steven D. Levitt, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given to the most influential American economist under forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.
Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality, has worked for the New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He is the host of Freakonomics Radio and Tell Me Something I Don't Know.
Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career—as an almost rock star—to become a writer. He has since taught English at Columbia, worked for The New York Times, and published three non-Freakonomics books.
Read an Excerpt
What Do Schoolteachers
and Sumo Wrestlers
Have in Common?
Imagine for a moment that you are the manager of a day-care center. You have a clearly stated policy that children are supposed to be picked up by 4 p.m. But very often parents are late. The result: at day's end, you have some anxious children and at least one teacher who must wait around for the parents to arrive. What to do?
A pair of economists who heard of this dilemma -- it turned out to be a rather common one -- offered a solution: fine the tardy parents. Why, after all, should the day-care center take care of these kids for free?
The economists decided to test their solution by conducting a study of ten day-care centers in Haifa, Israel. The study lasted twenty weeks, but the fine was not introduced immediately. For the first four weeks, the economists simply kept track of the number of parents who came late; there were, on average, eight late pickups per week per day-care center. In the fifth week, the fine was enacted. It was announced that any parent arriving more than ten minutes late would pay $3 per child for each incident. The fee would be added to the parents' monthly bill, which was roughly $380.
After the fine was enacted, the number of late pickups promptly went ... up. Before long there were twenty late pickups per week, more than double the original average. The incentive had plainly backfired.
Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. Economists love incentives. They love to dream them up and enact them, study them and tinker with them. The typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he cannot fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme. His solution may not always be pretty -- it may involve coercion or exorbitant penalties or the violation of civil liberties -- but the original problem, rest assured, will be fixed. An incentive is a bullet, a lever, a key: an often tiny object with astonishing power to change a situation.
We all learn to respond to incentives, negative and positive, from the outset of life. If you toddle over to the hot stove and touch it, you burn a finger. But if you bring home straight A's from school, you get a new bike. If you are spotted picking your nose in class, you get ridiculed. But if you make the basketball team, you move up the social ladder. If you break curfew, you get grounded. But if you ace your SATs, you get to go to a good college. If you flunk out of law school, you have to go to work at your father's insurance company. But if you perform so well that a rival company comes calling, you become a vice president and no longer have to work for your father. If you become so excited about your new vice president job that you drive home at eighty mph, you get pulled over by the police and fined $100. But if you hit your sales projections and collect a year-end bonus, you not only aren't worried about the $100 ticket but can also afford to buy that Viking range you've always wanted -- and on which your toddler can now burn her own finger.
An incentive is simply a means of urging people to do more of a good thing and less of a bad thing. But most incentives don't come about organically. Someone -- an economist or a politician or a parent -- has to invent them. Your three-year-old eats all her vegetables for a week? She wins a trip to the toy store. A big steelmaker belches too much smoke into the air? The company is fined for each cubic foot of pollutants over the legal limit. Too many Americans aren't paying their share of income tax? It was the economist Milton Friedman who helped come up with a solution to this one: automatic tax withholding from employees' paychecks.
There are three basic flavors of incentive: economic, social, and moral. Very often a single incentive scheme will include all three varieties. Think about the anti-smoking campaign of recent years. The addition of a $3-per-pack "sin tax" is a strong economic incentive against buying cigarettes. The banning of cigarettes in restaurants and bars is a powerful social incentive. And when the U.S. government asserts that terrorists raise money by selling black-market cigarettes, that acts as a rather jarring moral incentive.
Some of the most compelling incentives yet invented have been put in place to deter crime. Considering this fact, it might be worthwhile to take a familiar question -- why is there so much crime in modern society? -- and stand it on its head: why isn't there a lot more crime?
After all, every one of us regularly passes up opportunities to maim, steal, and defraud. The chance of going to jailthereby losing your job, your house, and your freedom, all of which are essentially economic penalties -- is certainly a strong incentive. But when it comes to crime, people also respond to moral incentives (they don't want to do something they consider wrong) and social incentives (they don't want to be seen by others as doing something wrong). For certain types of misbehavior, social incentives are terribly powerful. In an echo of Hester Prynne's scarlet letter, many American cities now fight prostitution with a "shaming" offensive, posting pictures of convicted johns (and prostitutes) on websites or on local-access television. Which is a more horrifying deterrent: a $500 fine for soliciting a prostitute or the thought of your friends and family ogling you on www.HookersAndJohns.com ...
The foregoing is excerpted from Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
Table of Contents
An Explanatory Note xxiii
In which the origins of this book are clarified.
Introduction: The Hidden Side of Everything 1
In which the book's central idea is set forth: namely, if morality represents how people would like the world to work, then economics shows how it actually does work.
Why the conventional wisdom is so often wrong
How "experts"—from crimnologists to real-estate agents to political scientists—bend the facts
Why knowing what to measure, and how to measure it, is the key to understanding modern life
What is "freakonomics," anyway?
Chapter 1 What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common? 15
In which we explore the beauty of incentives, as well as their dark side-cheating.
Who cheats? Just about everyone
How cheaters, cheat, and how to catch them
Stories from an Israeli day-care center
The sudden disappearance of seven millon American childern
Cheating schoolteachers in Chicago
Why cheating to lose is worse than cheating to win
Could sumo wrestling, the national sport of Japan, be corrupt?
What the Bagel Man saw: mankind may be more honest than we think
Chapter 2 How Is the Ku Klux Klan Like A Group of Real-Estate Agents? 51
In which it is argued that nothing is more powerful than information, especially when its power is abused.
Spilling the Ku Klux Klan's secrets
Why experts of every kind are in the perfect position to exploit you
The antidote to information abuse: the Internet
Why a new car is suddenly sorth so much less the moment it leaves the lot
Breaking the real-estate agent code: what "well maintained" really means
Is Trent Lott more racist than the average Weakest Linkcontestant?
What do online daters lie about?
Chapter 3 Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms? 85
In which the conventional wisdom is often found to be a web of fabrication, self-interest, and convenience.
Why experts routinely make up statistics; the invention of chronic halitosis
How to ask a good question
Sudhir Venkatesh's long, strange trip into the crack den
Why prostitutes earn more than architects
What a drug dealer, a high-school quarterback, and an editorial assistant have in common
How the invention of crack cocaine mirrored the invention of nylon stocking
Was crack the worst thing to bit black Americans since Jim Crow?
Chapter 4 Where Have all the Criminals Gone? 115
In which the facts of crime are sorted out from the fictions.
What Nicolae Ceauşescu learned—the hard way—about abortion
Why the 1960s was a great time to be a criminal
Think the roaring 1990s economy put a crimp on crime? think again
Why capital punishment doesn't deter criminals
Do police actually lower crime rates?
Prisons, prisons everywhere
Seeing through the New York City police "miracle"
What is a gun, really?
Why early crack dealers were like Microsoft millionaires and later crack dealers were like Pets.com
The superpredator versus the senior citizen
Jane Roe, crime stopper: how the legalization of abortion changed every-thing.
Chapter 5 What Makes A Perfect Parent? 147
In which we ask, from a variety of angels, a pressing question: do parents really matter? 147
The conversion of parenting from an art to a science
Why parenting experts like to scare parents to death
Which is more dangerous: a gun or a swimming pool?
The economics of fear
Obsessive parents and the nature-nurture quagmire
Why a good school isn't as good as you might think
The black-white test gap and "acting white"
Eight things that make a child do better in school and eight that don't
Chapter 6 Perfect Parenting, Part II; or: Would a Roshanda By Any Other Name Smell As Sweet? 181
In which we weigh the importance of a parent's first official act-naming the baby.
A boy named Winner and his brother, Loser
The blackest names and the whitest names
The segregation of culture: why Seinfeld never made the top fifty among black viewers
If you have a really bad banem should you just change it?
High-end names and low-end names (and how one becomes the other)
Britney Spears: a symptom, not a cause
Is Aviva the next Madison?
What your parents were telling the world when they gave you your name.
Epilogue: Two Paths to Harvard 209
In which the dependability of data meets the randomness of life.
Bonus Matter 213
"The Probability That a Real-Estate Agent Is Cheating You..." 215
Selected "Freakonomics" Columns From The New York Times Magazine 233
A Q&A with the Authors 261
What People are Saying About This
“Freakonomics is politically incorrect in the best, most essential way.... This is bracing fun of the highest order.”
“Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America... Prepare to be dazzled.”
Reading Group Guide
About the Book
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded young scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life -- from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing -- and whose conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. He usually begins with a mountain of data and a simple, unasked question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives -- how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they set out to explore the hidden side of ... well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a surfeit of obfuscation, complication, and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and - if the right questions are asked -- is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking. Steven Levitt, through devilishly clever and clear-eyed thinking, shows how to see through all the clutter.
Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: if morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
- Most people think of economics as a dry subject matter concerning monetary and fiscal matters. How does Freakonomics change this definition?
- Freakonomics argues that morality represent the way we'd like the world to work, whereas economics can show how the world really does work. Do you agree?
- Freakonomics lists three varieties of incentives: social, moral, and financial. Can you think of others?
- Freakonomics shows how the conventional wisdom is often shoddily formed. What are some instances of conventional wisdom that you've always doubted?
- Does it seem as though "experts" truly hold too much power in the modern world, or are we lucky to have them?
- What are some issues in your daily life toward which you can apply some Freakonomics-style thinking?
- What were some of the most convincing arguments put forth in Freakonomics? What were some of the least convincing?
- How does the argument linking Roe v. Wade to a drop in crime change your thinking about abortion?
- How does the view of parenting in Freakonomics jibe with your own view?
- After reading Freakonomics, do you think that cheating is more prevalent or less prevalent than you thought it was before you read the book?
About the authors
Steven Levitt is a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and an editor of The Journal of Political Economy. In January 2004 he was awarded the John Bates Clark medal -- for the economist under 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the discipline -- by the American Economic Association.
Stephen J. Dubner is the author of Confessions of a Hero Worshiper and Turbulent Souls and is a former writer and editor at the New York Times Magazine. He lives in New York City with his family.
A Message from the Coauthor
Steven Levitt doesn't think like you and me. (Well, I can't vouch for you, but I can vouch for me.) He has a brain that seems to hum along on its very own frequency. He can look at some scenario -- the rise and fall of crime, the real-estate market, the modern obsession with competitive parenting -- and instantly begin to ask questions, and come up with answers, that are simply astounding. In retrospect, you may scratch your head and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" This is what makes his work so intoxicating: He answers the questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask.
Yes, it's true that Levitt is an economist. But never before has the so-called dismal science been given a less dismal presentation. As Levitt sees it, economics is a science with excellent tools for gaining answers but a serious shortage of interesting questions. His particular gift is the ability to ask such questions. For instance: If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers? Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What really caused crime rates to plunge during the past decade? Do real-estate agents have their clients' best interests at heart? Why do black parents give their children names that may hurt their career prospects? Do schoolteachers cheat to meet high-stakes testing standards? Is sumo wrestling corrupt?
Levitt works with data, mountains of it, and from his data he teases out stories that are often surprising and may even make us uncomfortable, but which are most likely true. Several years ago, for instance, he wrote a paper linking Roe v. Wade with a drop in crime. His thinking went like this: the women most likely to seek an abortion in the wake of Roe v. Wade -- poor, single, or teenage mothers -- were the very women whose children, if born, have been shown most likely to become criminals. But since those children weren't born, crime began to decrease during the years they would have entered their criminal prime.
Unlike a politician or a theologian or a paid pundit, Levitt is free to come up with answers based on nothing more complicated than the truth. Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work -- whereas economics represents how it actually does work. The modern world, despite a surfeit of obfuscation, complication, and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and -- if the right questions are asked -- is even more intriguing than one might think. All it takes is a new way of looking. Stephen J. Dubner
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My mother is an economics teacher, and ever since she discovered the book "Freakonomics", I've been hearing about its humorous studies that would make even me, like economics. In this book, the authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, redefine the whole purpose and study of economics. Instead of looking for the obvious and easiest answer, they dig deep and look for the less obvious, but plausible answer. Instead of giving the public the answer they want to hear, they give them the "ugly truth" something that has caused this book to be a huge success, but also controversial. One study investigated how names can affect your opportunities in life. For example if you have a very obvious black sounding name, will it make you less successful? The authors tested this idea by sending out two sets of identical résumés. One set with a black name the other set with a white sounding name. The set of résumés with the black sounding name received fewer call-backs than the resumes that had obvious white sounding name. This is interesting because it shows how bigotry and racism are still alive in America today. And finally the most shocking study in the book is the one that correlates the drop in crime in the early 1990's to the passage of Roe vs. Wade in the 1970's. Legalized abortion, according to Levitt, is directly related to a drop in crime. Legalizing abortion made it easier for women, especially poor women, to obtain an abortion and prevent unwanted children from being born. Unwanted children have higher rates of truancy, do poorly in school, and are more likely to become criminals. Children of poor, uneducated, unwed teenage mothers are the most likely to grow up to become criminals. If these children are never born, then they cannot commit crimes. He compared states that legalized abortion before Roe vs. Wade and saw that those states crime rates decreased earlier than the rest of the nation. He also noted that states that not only legalized abortion but also made abortion less restrictive saw even greater drops in crime. Although this study may seem morally objectionable, it's difficult to argue with the data. These studies, and many others that the authors did, are what captivated me while reading this book. I believe that anyone with a sense of humor will love the approach that Levitt takes to answer questions and analyze things that people would never consider. Personally, I think the book is amazing, and everyone should read it because it really makes you pause and think that the causes behind some things you hear are not always true. After reading "Freakonomics" I am now looking forward to taking some economics classes in college. This is a book everyone should read.
I thought this book was interesting and a fun reead. It offers a fresh perspective on a lot of topics that you wouldn't think are related. The book is fairly well-written, although the authors offer a bit too much detail at times. I liked that it had a practical side that you can apply in everyday life, such as requiring proof and being skeptical.
I was definitely surprised to find that this book was not so much about economics as it was about everyday life. Even though the book jumped from topic to topic, the connections were clearly stated, and I never felt like I was being overwhelmed with information. The authors did a good job catering to all reading levels, making it a good book for just about anyone. I am really glad that I chose to read this book for my economics class, and I know that I will never think the same way about anything again.
Not completely understanding economics beforehand, Freakonomics was not only interesting and fun to read, but it also helped me to understand what exactly economics is by simplifying it for any age to understand and using relatable examples. This book will help influence me to look at the world from a different perspective and the question everything and yet still search for the answers, which might be more hidden that one would first assume.
Prior to reading it, I expected a dull, pure mathematically focused book. Nevertheless, the authors do a great job in combining their respective strengths into a best-seller non-fiction novel that conveys the statistics in a creative, friendly approach. If you have ever wondered what school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common, or why two children in the same class share the same name, yet each come from a contrasting culture and financial background, then I recommend this book! -AJ Jimenez P.4
It was a very interesting and fun book. Some of the information wasn't new to me but it was far from repetitive or boring!
When I first started reading this book, I didn't expect it to be good at all but after reading it more, I was surprised by the information the author provides the readers with. I thought I would be reading a book with mostly statistics and numbers about economy but it's the exact opposite.This book teaches you how incentives can affect people's behaviors and why people act the way they do.It also gives you interseting examples, such as teachers who cheated in order to win bonuses and how abortions caused crime rates to decreae. By reading this book,you will be able to understand more about the strategies that economists and real estate agents use in order to gain profits. Basically The authors relate random real life examples to economy. I would suggest everyone to read this book because it's interesting and informative.
I'm a high school student in an Economics class, and we had an assignment to read an Econ-related book. I chose Freakonomics, because it has been recommended to me multiple times and has been on my list. I went in thinking that it was going to be a somewhat drab (but still informative) novel about the circular flow of money in our society and how economics rules our lives in ways we don't know etc. In a way it was that, but something brilliant that amazed me in the first few pages alone was Dubner and Levitt's definition of economics itself as follows: "Economics is above all a science of measurement. It comprises an extraordinarily powerful and flexible set of tools that can reliably asses a thicket of information to determine the effect of any one factor, or even the whole effect." (12). This book is about what happens in society, through politics, schools or entertainment, and what happens in your social life, in your family and with your parents or your children, and what the driving forces are between all the events that may happen in the varying sectors of life. I won't try to explain it, but highly recommend that anyone read this book to delve into this theory. I put the fact that I'm a student on this review to not only describe my ethos, but to accentuate how I went into this literary journey with an assignment at hand, but as I read the book I forgot it was for school and was reading it as if it were a free choice read. Dubner's humorous way of writing his and Levitt's findings is nothing other than compelling, raw, and eye-opening.
I found this book to me incredibly intriguing. it truly revealed how closely sociology plays in the world of economics. The unique writing style and disjointed format served to make the book friendlier and easier to understand. Further, it was rather entertaining with the consecutive absurd real world examples to focus a topic in the book. This book made me feel comfortable reading it without feeling stressed about a seemingly complex topic like economics. Its truly a great read.
This is a great new twist on economics. It is not your usual boring economic text book, but rather an exploration of the world through economic thinking. Levitt is clearly a very intelligent and unique thinking economist. Touching on a broad range of ideas from sumo wrestlers, to crack dealers, to real estate agents, the book remains engaging as the authors use stories and examples to explain their ideas. However, there are times when you wonder if the authors are jumping to conclusions or if what they say truly is fact. Over all the book is a must read. Whether you take everything they say as fact or not, Freakonomics opens readers up to a new way of thinking and analyzing the world.
Fun reading, entertaining, and enlightening.
As an Economics major in college, this book was highly recommended to me not only by my Econ professors but also people in other fields who so happened to read the book. I was a little hesitant at first because I thought it was going to be just another textbook I had to read about theories, assumptions and models but I was completely wrong. This book is a fun way of looking at Economics as it uses everyday life to explain economic concepts. The authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner probably named this book Freakonomics due to the freaky nature of how they view the subject. Rather than giving a whole three chapters on consumer behavior terminology, the book discusses incentives and how they could either attract good or bad behavior from consumers. An example in the book was a daycare seeing an increase in parents who come late to pick their children after a charge was put on the bill for every child who was picked up late. Another interesting thing about the book is how the writers found a connection between things people wouldn’t necessarily think were related. For example, the book mentions that about the same time abortion was legalized throughout the country, crime rates dropped therefore showing a correlation between abortion and crime rates. Not only do the writers find correlations between unlikely linked events, they also bring up some serious but humorous questions like why drug dealers still live with their moms, similarities between schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers, how a name can affect one's employability and so on. We may hear the experts opinion on things and accept it as it is without questioning or further investigation. This book challenges you to do the opposite by asking questions, challenging theories and going beyond the norm to discover more about life rather than looking and accepting things at the surface level. I highly recommend this book to everyone regardless of whatever field of study you are involved with.
Doesn't anyone question why, on page after page of reviews, there are no negative ones, only gushy, wide-eyed, glowing reviews? These two men's assertions are junk science written to entertain. Any real use of science or economics is accidental. Case in point: No one can know what percentage of UNBORN children would have become criminals or that their criminal activity would have had a major effect on the crime rate of the 90s. No one. Gypsies and crystal balls, maybe. But, of course, that is not science. We do have scientists who studied reasons for the drop in crime in the 90s (and all the other junk science ideas these two so entertainingly put forth). THEIR data about what really happened is easy to find and was available when the book was written. Don't be so desperate for entertainment. Have we learned nothing from the past year with Trump?
When I first started to read this book, I didn't really enjoy it. My high school Econ teacher had me choose from a list of books, I decided to pick this because of its name and what my school librarians were saying about it. I expected the book to have a lot to do about economics however it also talks about and how different things relate to our everyday lives. Soon the book became interesting and I was intrigued. The author gives his unique views on how he sees the world. I expected to read a book about statics and numbers but instead I was able to learn about how incentives can affect people's behaviors and why people act and the way they do.
GOOD BOOK! Freakonomics is a book about daily human behaviors Freakonomics is a book about daily human behaviors The book uses many different examples from cheating school teachers and sumo wrestlers throwing matches to The Ku Klux Klan and real estate agents who pad data to boost how they are perceived. The writers show how these scenarios can affect the economy in similar ways. The book uses a lot of statistics to prove how all of these things are related. Some of the most outrageous things can affect life in unexpected ways. This was a great book and I definitely recommend it.
I liked this book a lot. It really made you think about things you proably never paid much attention to, but are very real issues in our society. It covers stuff from teachers cheating on standardized tests to the most popular baby names based on race, social status, and income. You learn how an honor payment system actually works, and how well it does. This book was well written, but not every section was necessary. There was a lot of information, but it seemed too random and didn't connect all back together in the end. This boois worth buying, you probably will read it again, and I found it very interesting.